Getting Spooky With the Kids

Written by Alyssa Banko

Published in SCV Health & Family Magazine November 2012
A publication of The Signal

I think Halloween is one of the top holidays in our house.  Not only do my kids still enjoy the whole trick or treating thing with their friends but they love decorating the house (inside and out) and playing pranks on family members!

I guess you can say we go all out on decorating.  From a giant inflatable haunted house that trick or treaters walk through and a graveyard full of tombstones to a life sized pirate and strobe lights flashing in the fog.  We have so much stuff, that our garage has an entire Halloween section stored in it.

Just like most kids, every year my kids “need” a new costume.  The costumes have been getting scarier ands scarier every since we stopped buying those cute little Disney costumes, I think they gave up on those when they were about four.  I’ve been saving their costumes over the years rather than get rid of them.  No, it’s not a sentimental thing.  Costumes are expensive so you need to recycle them.   We pull out all the old costumes, stuff them with newspapers, put a mask over a soccer ball and use it as the head.  In an instant, you have a stuffed dummie!  With four kids and bins full of old costumes, let’s just say we have dummies everywhere: sitting on rocking chairs, hanging out of body bags and swinging from the balcony.

The inside of the house is pretty decked out too but that’s really not the family Halloween focus.  It’s all about Halloween pranks.  When we initially started the pranks they were cute and funny.  Now, my kids are truly little devils.  October 1st (mom’s birthday) is the official start of the Halloween prank season and all bets are off.  One never knows what’s going to happen.

No matter what age your kids are, there are fun pranks you can pull on them and it’s great to see what creative ideas they come up with as individuals or when they team up against Mom and Dad.  Keep in mind, our family rules state that all pranks need to say within the boundaries of our home and each family member can only pull one prank per week.

TOP TEN Favorite Family Halloween Pranks

  1. Plastic spiders and mice can be hidden just about anywhere.  Under pillows, in the toilet, the kitchen cabinets or even in a sock!  Little kids have lots of fun with this one
  2. Caramel apples are always a favorite treat this time of year but just imagine your teenager biting into a caramel covered onion! (a true Mom favorite).
  3. Another one of my favorites is quietly sneaking in to wake my kids up in the morning with a scary mask on.
  4. On the flip side of No. 3, slip a pair of glow-in-dark fangs in your mouth and while giving your kids a good night smooch, flash them a big smile!
  5. Big skeletons can easily be slid in next to a sleeping kid in the middle of the night.  This prank was actually done to me one night when my husband was travelling.
  6. Put a few cut off finger props into the bottom of the candy bowl, fill the bowl up with M&M’s and then sit and wait.  Usually takes a day or two for the fingers to be found!
  7. Add little plastic bugs to ice cube trays, fill with water and freeze.  Then use those ice cubes in dinner drinks.
  8. Rub Vaseline all over the inside of the bathroom doorknob.  This makes getting out of the bathroom a bit difficult.
  9. Replace the background on your child’s computer with a scary Halloween background.
  10. Toilet paper your kid’s room while they are at school.  If they come home in a bad mood, this one will always put a smile on their face!

As you can see, our family Halloween pranks are harmless, they are not intended to cause any injury or damage but merely to give each other a little scare or laugh when it’s least expected.

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